Thursday, January 24, 2019

Anita’s beautiful blog Castles, Crowns and Cottages is always a pleasure to read, and so I decided to join her Simply Irresistible Link Party that launches today. Those of us participating have agreed to write about our dream European destination.

Won’t you come with me for a little visit to la culla del Rinascimento, the cradle of the the Renaissance, otherwise known as the eternally lovely Florence and the winding roads of Tuscany?

As an homage to the spirit of Anita’s dazzling reveries,

Ever since I was little, I wanted to see Michelangelo’s sculptures.

The angel that he set free from the marble, the Doni Tondo, and so much more….

I visited Florence with my family when I was 19 and went back to study art the next year.

My time in Florence was glorious.

There were magical dinner parties that lasted for hours.

Afternoons filled with shopping and cafes.

Glamorous parties, where I picked my way through champagne bottles strewn under the olive trees at villas up in the hills of Firenze. Florentines know how to enjoy life and then some.

I don’t remember much about art class except that our teacher would wear a pareo and nothing else in the afternoons…But I do remember taking an hour or more every morning to spend alone in the Ufizzi and Palazzo Pitti walking among works by Botticelli, da Vinci, Durer, Michelangelo, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt and so many more. I never started my day until I had spent some time in front of my favorite Raphael painting.

The Madonna della Seggiola is to this day the most beautiful painting that I have ever seen. Missing morning class to spend time in front of it was one of the best educational decisions I ever made.

From the beginning, life in Firenze was a slice of heaven laced with chocolate from Rivoire…you haven’t lived until you’ve sipped this melted chocolate concoction.

It was my first behind-the-scenes glimpse of handmade luxury leather goods;

little did I know it was to become a life long passion…

And then, not surprisingly, one evening, at a party overlooking the Arno, I was struck by the same lightning that Dante wrote about in the Divine Comedy.

For a time I lived with him above the Piazza della Signoria.

I missed one plane ride home. And then another…

We toured the Tuscan countryside, tasting wine and stopping in villas to taste more wine. He knew everyone and everyone knew him. It was like a strange but wonderful dream.

Weeks were ticking by and I was missing the beginning of grad school.
He asked me to stay and I thought about it.

I’m sure I filled pages in my journal.
Penne for your thoughts, ragazza…

I was just 20 and at the time the things I still wanted to do made

the 12 years between us seem like 1200.

Before I left he gave me the pocket watch his mother, a beautiful artist, had worn in her passport photo. And yes, this is the very same watch. I still have it.

To this day Firenze has a dear place in my heart and always will.
Just thinking about it has made me want to return.

Have you ever visited a place that was simply irresistible?


Rhonda February 6, 2018 at 02:54

Tuscany and it’s rolling hills are so romantic. I adore cypress trees and have 3 baby trees growing right now in our yard.

Lovely post!

Draffin Bears February 6, 2018 at 05:47

I enjoyed visiting your blog and reading the lovely story of back when you were 20 and seeing the gorgeous photographs.
What a wonderful experience you had in Firenze and can see why it is dear to your heart.
Travel really does broaden your horizon with rich history, art and culture.
Many thanks for visiting my blog.
Happy weekend

Palomasea February 6, 2018 at 06:31

What a delicious experience you had, , in many ways! SO special.
Truly a dream come true.
Thank you for generously sharing your memories…
Florence was magical in every way when I visited. Thank you for bringing me back there today.
Isn’t Anita a beautiful soul…bringing all of us from the world over, together like this?!
– Irina

The BUTT’RY and BOOK’RY February 6, 2018 at 12:16

This is travel post that SPEAKS ROMANCE in every way; music, pictures thoughts, and romance!! How lovely are these memories!!
Thank you for a lovely time!!

Many Blessings, Linnie

(and Michelangelo is a favorite
of mine too 😀 )

Botanic Bleu February 6, 2018 at 13:51

What a romantic story set in a romantic city! Any regrets? Thank you for taking us along on such a personal experience.

Sandy at You May Be Wandering February 6, 2018 at 14:17

Oh wow…what a beautiful post about one of my favorite places in the world! Thank you for giving me a lovely virtual escape! xoxo

Luisa María Benito February 6, 2018 at 16:33

Thanks to Anita today I can enjoy your pictures and this fantastic Link Party!.
I love your pictures, and I’m enjoying your photos and Those places thanks to you!

I wish you a great weekend.
Today I am Happy to have met you, I hope you visit me
personally selected products

Couture Carrie February 6, 2018 at 17:13

Amazing post, darling!
I love Florence, too 🙂

I lived in Salamanca for a semester in college, and that was pretty epic as well.


Mary Hone February 6, 2018 at 17:28

Oh how wonderfully romantic. What a special place. Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed every moment.

Constance February 6, 2018 at 21:36

That is stunning! Sexy, magnificent, delectable, awe inspiring! Tuscany and florence are not to be missed! Am definitely going to add these marvelous places to my bucket list thanks to your post!

Denise February 7, 2018 at 20:42

🙂 What a dream.To be 20 and in love with a city and a Man that belongs to that city.I am half Italian,I know the passion of the Italians.A beautiful post that brought Me back to My own youth.Thank You for stopping by and leading Me back to this dream of Mine.Blessings Denise

Catherine Robinson February 7, 2018 at 20:49

Such a beautiful story,…only in Italy…your post is beautiful…I’ve so enjoyed the trip and thank you for popping by it was lovely to hear from you.
Happy Weekend! xx

Alexis Grace of North On Harper February 7, 2018 at 20:50

Wow. What a beautiful post. I’ve been to Florence, but your post transported me there better than my own memory does! Absolutely enchanting! Thank you for sharing!

Stacey February 8, 2018 at 15:15

Awww, this post was heartwarming! I could relate to your sentiments about your time in Firenze. Our time living in Italy totally changed our lives and we vowed to retire there. The people, culture , food, really just the essence of Italia speak to my soul. Thanks for sharing! xx

Suz February 8, 2018 at 18:18

What a compelling and beautiful story to accompany your gorgeous images. You left me wanting to hear more and of course wanting to visit Firenze.

FASHION TALES February 9, 2018 at 03:33

Sounds like a very memorable experience it was for you . I love all of these photos, especially the dinner table gathering … is that a photo that you took? It’s gorgeous!

speedyrabbit February 9, 2018 at 08:50

Beautiful memories you have of such a wonderful place,xx Rachel and Speedy

Pamela RG February 9, 2018 at 08:54

Florence is one of my favourite cities in Europe. It is less crowded than Rome. We used to just walk all over the City to discover its art and hidden treasures. The shopping and food there are fantastic. Your memories of the City are so sweet. Go back again.

The French Hutch February 9, 2018 at 08:58

this story is so romantic it gives me chills! Oh how I agree, to ditch classes to stand in front of art in Florence would be a no brainer. You were one lucky girl, and a very lovely one I see in the photo. Just like you, I hope to return here some day. I could never get enough of Florence…………
I so enjoyed your story, thanks for sharing it.

Christine D. February 9, 2018 at 11:42

what a beautiful story and what a wonderful way to share it. i was so enraptured. and that pocket watch, what an amazing momento, it’s just gorgeous.

nélinha February 9, 2018 at 22:35

what a beautiful story and what a wonderful way to share it.merci beaucoup de ta gentille visite, Thanks to Anita I meet very nice person….
Bisous français

Marcela Gmd February 10, 2018 at 04:49

I love Firenze!!! a place full of art and beauty!!
Have a wonderful weekend!!!:)))

Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

Emily Tang February 10, 2018 at 05:55

I always wanted to visit Europe

Mary Hone February 10, 2018 at 10:19

Oh how wonderfully romantic. What a special place. Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed every moment.

Kizzy Von Doll.. February 10, 2018 at 16:22

Such a sweet story and memory!! I loved it. I went there many years ago. Am glad you have that happy memory to think back on :)) Happy weekend doll xx

Classiq February 10, 2018 at 20:20

An American in Firenze…what a beautiful story! We spent a few days there during our Italian honey moon and I fell for the architecture and that amazing light in the evening sun. Rome has a more special place in my heart though. I’m eternally in love with it.

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family February 11, 2018 at 02:39

Your beautiful story and it’s images transported me to Firenze and back to my youth!

I was in Florence attending Summer classes when I was 17. We ditched class as well. I can still smell grandness of Florence.

Thank you sharing your heart.

Castles Crowns and Cottages February 11, 2018 at 11:16

WOW.WOW…, your music and personal story (HOW ROMANTIC) has made this tour with your most enjoyable! YOU HAVE LIVED THIS DREAM, and I suspect, you still do, every day. What would we do without art, romance and love? I don’t even want to go there. I want to stay HERE, with you.

katie February 11, 2018 at 17:35

holy smokes….i’m outside on my porch, sipping my coffee, and have truly been transported….hands down my most favorite posts of yours EVER!!!!

irma February 11, 2018 at 19:40

Romantic memories of youth in an artistic town…

Alicia Mackin February 12, 2018 at 01:38

Gosh what a wonderful experience. Can’t say I ever had an experience like this. But so glad you had sucn a memorable experience like this, everyone should. I do hope to travel abroad again one of these days and would love to live abroad too.

Allie of ALLIE NYC

Mary Hone February 12, 2018 at 04:36

Oh how wonderfully romantic. What a special place. Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed every moment.

Marieken Hoefnagel February 12, 2018 at 09:27

Must have been a great city to live for a while. I was lucky to have visited one time for a day, and one time for a long weekend. I think it would be such a cool experience to stay longer and get to know the city better. I spent a month in Salamanca for a Spanish language course and a weekend in Madrid for ‘desert’. Loved both cities. I bet you would love the museums in Madrid!

subham rai February 12, 2018 at 10:56

Looks like an amazing place & Would you like to follow each other
on GFC, Google+ & Bloglovin? Lemme know!
& keep in touch!


La Contessa February 12, 2018 at 11:34

What an enchanting story……….NOW off you go to see MY STORY!LOved this POST!What are you making with leather…….I shall SUBSCRIBE to your blog!!
A PRESTO BELLA……………another who did marry the Italian!

Marcia Pilar February 12, 2018 at 16:02

Pleasure to meet yo. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Your post is a dream of mine, to one day actually live in Italy. What a wonderful experience you lived. Thank you for sharing it with us.
LOVE the music, and I look forward to continuing to visit.
Much love!

cat eyes & skinny jeans said… February 12, 2018 at 17:42

What brilliant images. The dinner parties sound simply magical!

Martina February 12, 2018 at 23:26

Firenze is really amazing – i’ve been there twice and so enjoyed coming there a third time with YOU! All the art, history and atmosphere is really worth coming there again and again! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog, made me happy!

Linda P February 13, 2018 at 04:10

Lovely photos and visions of a dreamy place I yearn to visit. Thank you taking me along this fabulous tour. How wonderful to be able to experience this. We will someday soon. Romance, beauty, fabulous food and great architecture. Coming over from Anita’s CCC.

Karena Albert February 13, 2018 at 11:28

thank you so much for this wondrous adventure. Anita has brought us all together to enjoy each others dreams and memories!

The Arts by Karena
Europe: Simply Irresistible!

Enara Girl February 13, 2018 at 13:23

It looks great, I have never been there. xoxo

Jade February 13, 2018 at 14:03

What a magical post, dear Mary Jo…………it´s so romantic and full of beauty! I love the Tuscany – what a joy for me to visit it today with you! Thank you so much for all your inspiration and for your lovely comment (it makes me so happy)! Have a wonderful weekend,

with love, Jade

Angelsdoor February 13, 2018 at 14:08

Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a sweet note.
I did come by yesterday and left a comment, I guess it did not go through…
I absolutely love your post!
What beautiful photos and memories you have.. Thank you so much for sharing.
p.s. Love the music!

Mary Hone February 13, 2018 at 19:07

Oh how wonderfully romantic. What a special place. Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed every moment.

Rowena February 14, 2018 at 01:45

Thanks for sharing this beautiful virtual journey! I really enjoyed reading about your experience in Firenze! Happy weekend!

Sandy at You May Be Wandering February 14, 2018 at 02:24

Oh wow…what a beautiful post about one of my favorite places in the world! Thank you for giving me a lovely virtual escape! xoxo

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